[Pnews] Mumia Abu Jamal Update: April 7, 2015

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 8 11:11:55 EDT 2015

*MUMIA UPDATE:  April 7, 2015
Mumia is in very poor health and has been back in the prison infirmary 
since Wednesday, April 2, 2015.  His transfer back to the prison is an 
attempt to sever Mumia from the widespread attention this recent crisis 
has garnered in the media. It was also an attempt to shut down the 
movement’s vigil at the hospital.

When Mumia arrived in the hospital on March 30th he was in diabetic 
shock. His blood sugar level was at 779.  Diabetic coma, which is 
potentially fatal, registers at 800.

His sodium level was alarmingly high at 168 and potentially fatal.  His 
sodium levels have now been normalized, but he has not yet been seen by 
an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist.) The doctors at the hospital 
reiterated that there was no diabetes specialist available. Our major 
demand is that he be examined immediately by an independent team of 
medical specialists, chosem by his family and supporters.
A small group of family and supporters visited with Mumia in the prison 
on April 3rd. At that time he seemed sicker and less alert than when we 
saw him in the hospital. His blood sugar on that day was at 336. He has 
lost approximately 50lbs since we last saw him in January. He was in a 
wheel chair, his speech was intermittently slurred, and by the end of 
the one-hour visit he had difficulty breathing.
Sing the petition here to get him immediate, independent and specialized 
medical assistance.

_Secretary of PA Corrections, John E. Wetzel_
phone: 717 728-4109  email: ra-crpadocsecretary at pa.gov 
<mailto:ra-crpadocsecretary at pa.gov>
_Governor Tom Wolf_
phone: 717 787-2500   fax: 717 772-8284
email: governor at pa.gov <mailto:governor at pa.gov>
_SCI-Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes
570 773-2158 ext.8102_


1.  In early January of this year Mumia had to be shaken out of a deep 
sleep by guards during count. For not being awake during count he was 
punished for two weeks. No visitors, phone calls or yard were allowed.  
This was the beginning of a precipitous decline in his health.

2. During those two weeks he became ill with a severe skin disorder that 
was diagnosed as eczema by the doctors in the prison infirmary. Mumia 
refused visitors because he was in pain, his skin was leathery, raw, and 
bloody, and he was falling asleep during visits.

3. The medication he was given produced a severe reaction. His skin 
ruptured. He was placed in the infirmary for two weeks. During this time 
he was given a battery of medical tests including, since February, three 
blood tests.

4. On the morning of Monday, March 30th Mumia walked to the infirmary 
where he fainted. He was taken to the ICU of a nearby hospital, the 
Schuylkill Medical Center. When he arrived at the hospital he was in 
diabetic shock. His blood sugar level was 779.  Had it been 800, he 
would have been in a coma. He remained shackled to the bedpost during 
his entire stay.

5. On that same day, March 30th, Heidi Boghosian (former Director, 
National Lawyers Guild, Mumia’s Legal Team) and Johanna Fernandez 
(Professor of History, Baruch College, Mumia’s Legal Team) arrived at 
the prison for a visit. They were deeply concerned about his health 
after a phone conversationFernandez had with Mumia on Friday, March 27th 
during which his voice sounded severely stressed. Upon arrival at the 
prison they were told that they couldn't see him. They pressed the issue 
and were finally told that he was hospitalized. They immediately alerted 
his wife and supporters. His wife called the prison and found out that 
he had been transferred to a local hospital and was in diabetic shock.

6. Boghosian and Fernandez found the hospital and went to the ICU where 
they immediately encountered a phalanx of prison guards watching over 
one of the rooms in the ICU. A nurse confirmed that Mumia was there.

7. On that same day the Third Circuit Court was hearing arguments on the 
constitutionality of the Revictimization Relief Act, otherwise known as 
the Mumia Silencing Law.
The court hearing was taking place about an hour away in Harrisburg, PA. 
A carload of supporters including Pam Africa (International Concerned 
Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal), Noelle Hanrahan (Prison 
Radio) and Mumia'sBrother Keith Cook joined Boghosian and Fernandez, at 
the ICU

8. His brother, Keith Cook, was not allowed in, nor did he get any 
substantive information about Mumia's medical condition.

9. Supporters stayed at the hospital and kept watch in the waiting room 
of the ICU. Later the next day, March 31, his wife Wadiya Jamal and 
brother Keith Cook were allowed a 30-minute visit each, separately.

10. After a campaign of calls, the doctors/nurses finally started 
talking to his family. Medical staff informed us that had Mumia arrived 
10 minutes later, he would have fallen into a diabetic coma. They also 
said that his sodium level was extremely high at 168.
11. Pam Africa called a press conference in front of the hospital. 
Approximately eight media outlets, including the AP and Philadelphia 
affiliates showed up and reported sympathetically on the story. One 
example can be found here: 

12. The next day, on Wednesday, April 1, the prison changed the rules 
and did not allow his wife and oldest brother in. We pressed to have 
other members of his family see him. Mumia's younger brother, Bill Cook, 
and his son, Jamal Hart, were allowed very short visits. His son stormed 
out of the room in shock at his father's condition. He was distressed to 
see his father shackled, in pain and distress. Bill Cook reported that 
Mumia was shaking throughout the visit, that his breathing was labored, 
and that he was in generally terrible shape.

13. That same day, on Wed April 1, at 7PM Mumia was transferred back to 
the prison's infirmary.

14. On Thursday, April 2, his family and supporters were denied visits 
in the prison because, according to prison officials, his medical 
condition did not allow it. On that same day, Mumia collapsed in the 
prison infirmary bathroom and was found 45 minutes later on the floor by 
a doctor and another prisoner.
15. On Friday April 3rd, after pressure mounted against the changing 
policies of the prison (non-stop calls to the prison and an on-site 
demonstrations) the prison allowed five people to visit him together for 
one hour. Mumia was brought to the visiting room in a wheel chair.  
Given his condition, the visit should have taken place in the infirmary. 
His spirit was strong, but his body was clearly in need of urgent 
medical attention. As of today, he has not yet been seen by a diabetes 
specialist and his blood sugar continues to fluxuate dangerously, 
reaching 336 on April 3^rd .   Yet, in spite of this dangerously high 
level he was given spaghetti for lunch.  He was very weak and had 
difficulty breathing by the end of the one-hour visit. His skin is 
completely disfigured—hardened and jet black all over his body, except 
for his face. His speech was slurred during parts of our conversation, 
he was trembling and had difficulty breathing by the end of the visit.  
Since January he has lost at least 80lbs.
16. Mumia needs to see a diabetes specialist (endocrinologist), 
dermatologist, and nutritionist immediately, chosen by his family and 
closest supporters. Mumia is innocent and needs to be brought home 
17. There are an estimated 80,000 prisoners with diabetes in the US 
prisons, and medical neglect of prisoners is rampant. We call for a full 
investigation of prison healthcare in Pennsylvania. The state’s medical 
services are for profit and have been so neglectful and abusive that its 
entire healthcare operations warrant independent review. The unexpected 
and unexplained sudden death of Phil Africa of the MOVE 9 last year, 
while he was under prison medical supervision, is but one of many 
examples of the physical jeopardy, even mortal danger, faced by 
prisoners across the nation undergoing the system’s healthcare procedures.
Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D.
Department of History
Baruch College, City University of New York
For the Movement to Free Mumia
Member of Mumia Abu-Jamal Legal Team
Coordinator, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home
jfernandez1202 at gmail.com <mailto:jfernandez1202 at gmail.com>
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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